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have never been with somebody when they've died. and i think that speaks to health care and technology these days. there was a time when doctors did not always reveal that a patient's condition was terminal. it was a judgment call, based on their perception of the situation and the patient's ability to handle the information. and some would concede that if they were dealing with a man of affairs, a major businessman, they would expect that person, that man to be both levelheaded enough and to have such weighty considerations that if he had cancer, he ought to know, because he would need to make arrangements. but for the rest of us in the hoi polloi, the sense was, doctors knew best. we have become much more honest. basically, you know, patients' rights, patients' autonomy has been increasingly realized. so we no longer really feel we have the right to withhold information from them. so certainly, much more frankly and much earlier, we tell patients about fatal diagnoses. i was just on a shopping line in a grocery store with my young son. he was three at the time, and i was holding him
on now. the physics-types and the technology-types are working on. but when--and if and when they're solved, things are gonna be like different. really different. questions? i didn't quite catch the deal on breeder reactors because, say, losing mass is the name of the game. redirectors make it. let's go to that very, very quickly. what a breeder reactor does is very simple. if in your reactor you have 238 of plutonium-- or 235 of plutonium causing the fusion, if you put in some u-238-- i erased it over here-- the 238 will be turned to plutonium. so you're really not gaining any mass. what you're doing is you're converting something that's not very helpful, 238. you're converting that to something that is very helpful, energy-wise, plutonium. and the analogy i used in the book is like putting gasoline-- putting some water in your gasoline in your car. so it isn't like you get more mass than you started with. you're just converting the water to the gasoline. or in this case, you're converting the 238 to plutonium. and it turns out, every reactor is all the time breeding. if you have
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